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The Pioneers

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Biography

Formed in 1962 by Winston Hewitt and brothers Sydney and Derrick Crooks, the Pioneers were one of Jamaica's finest harmony groups. Hewitt had been replaced by Glen Adams by the time the group began recording for Leslie Kong's Beverley label in 1965, and following a move to Caltone Records in 1967, the group was essentially down to just Sydney Crooks and a newly recruited Jackie Robinson. Crooks and Robinson, as the Pioneers, scored a big hit with "Long Shot" (produced by Joe Gibbs), a song about a famous Jamaican racehorse. Adding singer George Agard to become a trio again, the group returned to working with Kong, recording "Nana" as the Slickers before scoring big with "Samfi Man" and a sequel to their horse saga, "Long Shot (Kick De Bucket)," again as the Pioneers. The latter track became a huge hit in England, prompting the Pioneers to take up residence there in 1970. Changing their style to reflect a more direct pop approach, the Pioneers had their last big hit with a cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Let Your Yeah Be Yeah." The group never officially broke up and continued to perform occasional and sporadic live shows. ~ Steve Leggett
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